RICO Maierhofer has been summoned to appear before PBA commissioner Chito Salud as the league moves to make head or tails of the Barako Bull's 'shoe block' on San Miguel Beer's Gabby Espinas that has spawned a rules crisis.
According to media bureau chief Willie Marcial, Salud wants to know what was on Maierhofer's mind when he blocked a shot by Espinas with the help of a shoe he lost in a previous play.
"Bale, isa-summon si Rico para ipaliwanag lang kung ano 'yung ginawa niya saka bakit niya ginawa 'yun,” Marcial told Spin.ph ahead of the 11-1 p.m. meeting on Friday at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City.
They Said It!
“I hope he doesn't get SHOES-pended. Hehehe." Coco Marte
The strange play has gained worldwide attention online and, more importantly, exposed a loophole in the PBA rule book which league officials admit has no specific provision to address the issue.
Basketball officials feel Maierhofer should've been called for a technical foul in the play since it is illegal to use a 'foreign object' in any play during the course of a league game.
However, at posting time the PBA's technical staff is still searching for a provision in the league rule book that could apply in this rare case.
In contrast, Fiba, the world’s governing basketball body, has Article 4.4.1 in its rules which touches specifically on cases like Maierhofer's.
“All equipment used by players must be appropriate for the game. Any equipment that is designed to increase a player’s height or reach or in any other way give an unfair advantage is not permitted,” the Fiba rule said.
Marcial explained that the PBA is not covered by the Fiba rules, though they don’t intend to let Maierhofer’s case happen again
“Hindi pa natin masasabi kung ano ang gagawin ni com (Salud) after. Titingnan pa natin after that (meeting),” he added.